He was superb handling the more sentimental aspects of 1999's The Cider House Rules (winning a second Oscar), in the underseen Brit ensemble classic Last Orders (2001), as the true protagonist of 2002's The Quiet American, and as one brainy holdout amid the Orwellian future of Children of Men (2006).
So is he more served or subservient playing butler to Batman? (I'd say the former.) Caine is an excellent actor who always admitted that selling out was part and parcel of the trade. Sex symbol then, willing tool now (and also then), he never blew pompous public wind or truly embarrassed himself onscreen, even when the films embarrassed themselves. He once said, with bracing honesty, "You get paid the same for a bad film as you do for a good one." Either way, he earns the check.
Feb. 129, $10
Fri., 6:30 p.m.
57 Post, SF